Saturday, June 29, 2013

Catching up

One of my cats is quite ill right now, and so everything else has fallen to the side.  I have a couple more James Bond movies to review, but just haven't been able to find the desire to write them up right now.  So, in the meantime, I thought I'd do a quick catch-up post on everything else I've been unduly ignoring.

Publishing news!  My third Bat Masterson/Wyatt Earp short story, entitled "The Wager," is now out in the Dreamers in Hell anthology, available in Kindle, Nook, or print versions at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.   Always exciting when a book comes out, and I'm sorry the bad timing in my personnel life has prevented me from enjoying and promoting the book release as I normally would.

Over the last couple months, I caught Iron Man 3, The Great Gatsby, Epic, and Monsters University in the theater.

Iron Man 3 - loved it, found it satisfying and quite humorous, loved Ben Kingsley, can't wait to pick it up on DVD when it comes out.  However, I never had that desire/need to see it multiple times, like Avengers, so only saw it twice.  Iron Man 2 remains my favorite film of the three Iron Man movies, followed by this one, then the first Iron Man movie.

The Great Gatsby - went through lots of mixed emotions watching this one, but by the time it completed, it had won me over, and I quite enjoyed it.  I did not like the use of modern music at the party scenes, but at the same time, it actually worked somehow, which is very strange.  Visually, it was amazing, and everything looked exactly as I pictured it from the book.  I loved the actors.  I'd seen the Robert Redford 1970's version, which fell completely flat for me.  This movie actually helped me understand the book, which I greatly appreciated.  I walked away with a much deeper appreciation of the story.

Epic - old-fashioned good vs. evil story.  Quite fun and very pretty.  I liked the characters, and I was fascinated how the story had at least four single parent/child relationships, each one quite different, but each complementary.  Intriguing.  Loved the character of Ronin and really related to him.  This is one I'll buy for my nephew as soon as it comes out on DVD.  He will love it.

Monsters University - the best part about seeing this one was listening to the three twenty-something young men sitting in the same row react to events in the movie with all their hearts.  You'd have thought they were ten-year-olds, not adults, they were sooooooooo into it.  It was pretty awesome.  Alas, for me, this movie did nothing, and when I was ready for it to be over, there was still another twenty minutes and another adventure left.  If I wore a watch (which I don't) this would have been a clock-watcher.  That doesn't mean it wasn't a good movie, particularly for kids, it's just it hit none of my buttons.  I really didn't want to be the characters, I could not relate to anyone in it, and I am really not a fan of most underdog stories or origin stories.  I do adore Monsters Inc., and it is my fourth favorite of the Pixar film, but all the heart and emotion and charm and suspense in Monsters Inc. was missing in this one.  My nephew enjoyed it (but didn't love it), and the audience clapped heartily at the end, so I suspect I am in the minority on this one.

Other than that, we've truly hit summer and the temp is well over 100 degrees.  I'm longing for fall/winter to get here.  But my tomato plants are gigantic and producing tons of tomatoes.  My apple trees, which gave me fabulous apples last year, are giving me much larger, but not as tasty, apples this year, and my apricot tree gave me at least 300 fabulously wonderful apricots.  I love this apricot tree.  I had to hunt and hunt to find the right variety when I bought it, but it paid off.  All apricots are not equal.  It has been a good year in the garden, at least!


  1. It's always great to see a blog post from you! Congratulations on your short story publication!

    I haven't seen any of the movies you've seen, but I may watch The Great Gatsby when it comes out on DVD. I loved the book in high school, and I also loved the Robert Redford film version. (Based on when the film came out and when I was in high school, I actually saw the film before ever reading the book.)

    What is the variety of apricot you love so much? When we moved into this house in 2005, we had 19 fruit trees. Now, we have only 16, and a few of those appear to be dying. One of the 3 we did lose was a supreme apricot...they were the best apricots ever! Of course, our favorite tree was one that bit the dust.

    My 5 cherry trees are all devoid of fruit this year, thanks to a freeze in April, after they had blossomed. While I picked what seemed like a million cherries last year, this year, I will be picking none!

    1. I'm envious of those cherry trees! Nothing like cherries off the tree. Your place sounds like where I grew up in Northern California. We had two acres with 40 fruit trees. My job was to water them all once a week through summer. My favorite of the trees was the fuyu persimmon tree, the gravenstein apples, and the Italian prune plums. Everything else was good, but those were extra special, and I have never found any of those in a grocery store that taste remotely the way they should. Apricots are the same way... grocery store apricots just don't taste right. You have to grow your own if you want good ones. I don't believe I've had the supreme variety. The one I bought was a Royal.

      I'd love to know what you think of Great Gatsby, if you get a chance to see it eventually.

    2. One of my 16 remaining fruit trees is an Italian prune plum. It's the smallest tree we have (maybe 7 feet), but talk about prolific. It puts out tons every single year!

      When we bought the house, we had 3 apricot trees...supreme, royal, and blenheim. The supreme and royal are 2 of the trees we lost. We still have the Blenheim apricot, but we don't really like them all that much.

      The supreme apricots were the size of peaches! And kind of peach-ish in color and texture as well. SO good!

  2. Yes, yes, please share what kind of apricot you got! We're thinking of adding one next year.

    1. It is a Royal Apricot.